Understanding Hyalophobia – The Fear of Glass
Does the mere sight of glass cause you to feel cold and numb all over?
Would you rather have champagne in a paper cup than touch a slender and beautiful glass flute?
Do buildings made of glass send chills down your spine?
If it is a “Yes”, you likely have Hyalophobia.
This can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. People around you can raise eyebrows and be confused with the sudden irrational panic you are experiencing.
All you know is the mere sight of glass, and the idea of being close to glass causes your heart to pound as if you have run a marathon. You can’t explain the panic that is gripping you, making it hard to breathe and think rationally.
Having to live with this fear is a constant battle and one that you always end up losing. You are anxious talking about it because you can’t understand it yourself. Besides, people can be unforgiving and quick to judge, adding to the anxiety.
But for people with phobias, the fear is also unforgiving and a considerable part of their existence.
You are not alone, and you don’t need to permanently live with unwanted terror as you can manage your distress, and the first step is to have a better understanding of what may have caused it.
What Causes the Fear of Glass?
Your fear of glass may have rooted when you were younger – a memory that you might have forgotten already. It can be glass shattering, and you were in close proximity when it happened, or you were the one who broke the glass and got a good scolding out of it. Or you got into a traumatic accident with glass involved.
Movies that you have watched and real-life situations you’ve witnessed that put glass in a negative light can also attribute to your fear. You might have injured yourself when you were younger, courtesy of some glass shards.
Other contributing hyalophobia causes would be witnessing someone pushed off a window, a car accident or explosion with the windows shattering full blast, hail pummeling while traveling and even people throwing objects made of glass.
Everything You Need to Know about Hyalophobia
You might be a little surprised that there is actually a name for what you are going through, and of course, you would want to know what is the fear of glass called.
Hyalophobia is also referred to as Hyelophobia or Nelophobia. This is an example of a specific phobia and is associated with the fear of glass or the fear of broken glass.
A terrifying aspect of any glass structure is its delicateness. Despite glass structures being a solid material, glass is still best described to be highly fragile. And once it breaks, the slivers and spikes can cause pain and injury.
Most people who have Hyalophobia not only fear glass windows and imposing glass structures. A mere shot glass made from glass or even a delicate chess piece made of glass can trigger them.
Like most phobias, Hyaphobia can also be from learned behavior. If you grew up with someone who also feared glass, then the possibility of this fear being instilled in you is high. It becomes a norm that glasses are meant to elicit anxiety and panic. You grow with it, and as you age, the fear also escalates.
Hyalophobia can cover anything that’s glass-related. For example, you may avoid entering a building just because the walls are 80% made of glass. Or refuse to go to a vineyard because you know that wine-tasting would include champagne flutes. At home, you would have melamine, plastic or wooden glasses, and kitchenware.
Symptoms of Hyalophobia
The symptoms of Hyalophobia are similar to most other phobias. However, there are no unique indicators that would exactly pinpoint your symptoms to the fear of glass except the presence of glass.
Additionally, the extent of the symptoms is unique for every person. For example, some would have a panic attack when massive and imposing glass structures are within their proximity. However, in severe circumstances, the mere possibility of seeing a glassy figurine is enough to cause a frenzy.
● Chills and hot flashes
● Choking sensation
● Difficulty in breathing
● Dry mouth
● Ringing in your ears
● A rise in blood temperature
● Tachycardia or rapid heartbeat
● The uncontrollable need to go to the bathroom
● Fear of getting hurt
● Fear of dying
● Fear of losing control
● Mood swings
● Poor concentration
● Withdrawal from other people
Hyalophobics can experience one or a combination of these symptoms. Most psychological symptoms have a lingering effect than the physical ones, and it can be a draining and unpleasant feeling altogether.
How do you Deal with Hyalophobia?
You know deep inside that your phobia of broken glass is irrational, but your terror gets the best of you. All phobias should be taken seriously, especially if it stops you from being the best version of yourself. If your fear affects your relationships and prevents you from doing what you love, you owe it to yourself to get professional help.
Sure, there is no dedicated treatment just for glass phobia, but several management activities exist.
Self-Help: What can you do to Help Yourself?
Nobody knows you better than yourself. Despite not fully understanding what’s happening, you can use your previous panic attacks to determine what triggers your phobia the most and how to manage it.
Always remind yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and your fear is illogical. Then, when you determine that you want to have a better way of dealing with your fear, you have to start changing the way your mind thinks.
Make it part of your self-affirmations and believe in it. Assure yourself that with your strength, your fear can no longer stop you.
Assess yourself how you were handling your Fear
Be honest to yourself and create a list of things that trigger your phobia and what you usually do to handle it. Then, indicate what worked and cross off those that were not effective in putting you back in control.
This list can present as your starting point. You need to be more confident in handling your emotions.
Relaxation and Calming Techniques
When you feel like your phobia is creeping in, calm yourself by engaging in breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. When you have a calm mind, you can think rationally, and you can remind yourself that, again, your fear is irrational and there is nothing to be afraid of.
Embrace your Fear
Start from the littlest glass piece that you can tolerate and learn to coexist with that small representation of your fear. Then, gradually get bigger glass things and manage your daily life, knowing that you’d be drinking from a glass when you get home.
Getting Professional Help for Fear of Glass
Sometimes, enlisting the help of professionals can provide the guidance you need in handling your fear of glass. Their experience and different methodologies can prove to be precisely what you need to manage your Hyalophobia slowly.
You might be recommended for a single Hyalophobia treatment or a combination of these methodologies. Don’t worry. Your health professional will be discussing your options, what to expect, and what the next steps are for every treatment.
● Talking therapies
● Neuro Linguistic Programming
● Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Learning to Live with Hyalophobia
The above recommendations, unfortunately, are not a one-size-fits-all approach. It will take time to fully and confidently manage your fears. Still, you will realize that by tapping your right resources and empowering yourself, you can reduce the anxiety and terror you feel.
Your fear of shattered glass doesn’t define you as a person. It should not limit you from what you can become. This is where asking for help and support from family and friends becomes crucial because this is a complex undertaking.
Expect setbacks. This journey takes time, but you will emerge as a stronger individual after this – with more confidence in yourself and lesser fear of glass.
Being stronger than your fear can positively impact your life, and only you can do it. You have to work hard in managing your hyalophobia so you can look forward to the day where you can let the natural light kiss your face as you look up from a glass wall.